CSR Research Digest – July 2012
A report by Weber Shandwick looks into how corporate reputation impacts brand preference today and to what extent. Between October and November 2011, company polled both senior executives and consumers from the United States, United Kingdom, China and Brazil to determine their opinions on the issue.
- CEO and company reputation are inextricably linked and, together drive a firm’s market value.
- While 40% of consumers hold large corporations in lower regard than a few years ago, their respect in small businesses has grown.
- At the same time 50% of all consumers surveyed lost respect for corporate leaders, particularly in the United States and UK.
- Approximately 66% of consumers and 84% of executives hold a moderate or strong belief that perceptions of the CEO impact views of the company as a whole.
- The survey results indicate greater interdependence between CEO and company reputation in emerging markets where consumers place company leaders and their communications in higher regard.
- A majority of consumer respondents (69%) say they frequently or regularly discuss how they feel about a product they bought.
- Not surprisingly these conversations hold major sway in perception of reputation and future purchase behavior.
- Word-of-mouth remains the leading source of influence when it comes to opinion of a company (88%), whether the genesis is online or offline.
- A subset (83%) cited online reviews as very or somewhat influential on consumer opinion about companies.
- Advertising (56%) lagged pointing to more limited impact of traditional image-building campaigns.
- Consumers (70%) said they will avoid buying a product if they don’t like the company that makes it.
- They now consider themselves rightful investors in the companies they choose to support.
- Consumers (67%) increasingly check product labels to see who the company is behind the product.
- They want to know where their money is going and who they are supporting when buying their goods.
- Consumers get annoyed (61%) when they can’t identify the parent company of the brand being considered.
- People want to know who makes the product, the values they embody and how well they treat employees.
- Respondents (56%) hesitate to buy products if they can’t tell who makes them.